• Terik Daly

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Planetary Exploration Group

    Johns Hopkins Univeresity Applied Physics Laboratory

  • Terik's Curriculum vitae

  • By the numbers

    Numbers can't capture the essence of a person, but people use them anyway...


    Peer-reviewed papers


    Years teaching experience


    Conference presentations


    Year-long teaching certificates

  • Terik's Teaching

    I immerse students in hands-on exploration and authentic research experiences while implementing evidence-based strategies to help students of diverse backgrounds find academic success. You can read about my teaching philosophy here. I hone my teaching practice through workshops and certificate programs. I also facilitate educational development workshops.

  • Courses

    Habitable Worlds

    Between 2013 and 2016, I taught a week-long course for pre-college students entitled "Habitable Worlds: Possible Places for Life in the Solar System and Beyond" with my friend and colleague Stephanie Bouchey. Our award-winning class engages high school students uses problem-based learning as the mechanism for catalyzing student engagement.

    Planetary Geology

    As the teaching assistant for an introductory course called "Planetary Geology", I solo taught one week of the class of the semester-long course and developed new homework assignments, in addition to typical TA responsibilities.

  • Terik's Research

    My research can be divided into three categories: Impact cratering, image-based shape modeling, and spacecraft data visualization.


    I focus on fundamental processes rather than a specific moon or planet. However, to date I have worked on problems related to the asteroid Vesta and Itokawa, the dwarf planet Ceres, the moons of Mars and Saturn, cometary nuclei, and our very own Earth. Scroll down to learn about my recent projects.






  • Impact cratering

    Many people who studying impact craters focus on the physical consequences of impact: how craters form, why they look the way they do, and how cratered landscapes evolve with time. My work is different. In addition to considering the physical consequences of impact, I explore the geochemical consequences of impacts. This focus allows me to study big-picture questions, such as how Earth got its water.

    Water Delivery During Impacts

    We use hypervelocity impact experiments to measure how much water gets delivered by impacts. The answer? Up to about a third of the impactor's water is trapped in and near the crater under conditions typical of the main asteroid belt and early planet formation. Moreover, we show that this water is trapped in a combination of impact-generated glasses and impact breccias, which may have contributed to the surprisingly early accretion of water in the inner solar system.


    Published in Science Advances as "The delivery of water by impacts from planetary accretion to present ".


    Read about the work in the New York Times.

    Meteoritic Fingerprints in Terrestrial Craters

    During impacts on Earth, tiny amounts of the impacting asteroid or comet can be mixed into melted Earth rocks. We can sniff out these tiny "fingerprints" using geochemical tools like osmium isotopes. In collaboration with colleagues at the UT Austin and the University of New Brunswick, we used osmium isotopes to search for meteoritic signatures in impact melt rocks from two Canadian craters: East Clearwater and West Clearwater. The results surprised us!


    Published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta as "Contrasting meteoritic signatures within the Clearwater East and Clearwater West impact structures: The view from osmium isotopes​".

    Impactor Fate During Oblique Impacts

    All impacts are oblique to some degree; a 45-degree angle impact is the most probable. We investigated how variables such as impact speed, impact angle, projectile type, and target type affected the distribution and physical state of impactor survivors. The results motivate a new strategy for the recovery of samples during hypervelocity impacts.


    Published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science as "Projectile preservation during oblique hypervelocity impacts".

    Impactor Contamination of Ceres

    Hypervelocity impact experiments, coupled with scaling calculations, predict extensive impactor contamination on Ceres. We explore how the bulk composition of Ceres affects the character of projectile remnants.


    Published in Geophysical Research Letters as "Predictions for impactor contamination on Ceres based on hypervelocity impact experiments".


    Click here for the press release. This paper was also featured in Eos.

    Impactor Debris on Vesta

    My coauthors and I show that that Vesta accretes large quantities of meteoritic debris, largely hosted within the glassy melt breccias. The experiments at the core of this work, which were performed at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range, provide insight into how dark material is delivered to Vesta and reveal the physical state of the projectile component.


    Published in Icarus as "Delivering a Projectile Component to the Vestan Regolith".

    Micro-scale Cratering: A Novel Source for Dust Accelerators

    Current dust accelerators can only accelerate electrically-conductive particles. We show that electrospray charges minerals and astrophysical ices without the need for conductive coatings. This opens new avenues for experiments with realistic planetary materials, potentially transforming laboratory studies of cosmic dust.


    Published in Planetary and Space Science and Earth, Planets, and Space as "Electrospray charging of minerals and ices for hypervelocity impact research" and "A novel particle source based on electrospray charging for dust accelerators and its significance for cosmic dust studies​", respectively.

    Oddities of Impacts in Coarse-grained Targets

    Many asteroids appear to be "rubble piles" of blocks, boulders, and debris bound by gravity. (The asteroid Itokawa is one example.) Along with others at APL, Sandia National Labs, and NASA Johnson Space Center, we investigated how such targets influence the cratering process. The experiments yielded results that are difficult to reconcile with theoretical predictions for how craters grow. This implies that cratering on rubble-pile asteroids might be controlled by the very early-time coupling between projectile and target.


    In review at Icarus.

  • Image-based shape modeling

    The shape and topography of a planetary body provide fundamental constraints on interior structure and geologic history. But, many small moons, asteroids, and comets have very irregular shapes. Accurately interpreting spacecraft data (and thereby unraveling a body’s geologic history) requires an accurate shape model. I use stereophotoclinometry (SPC) to create these models. SPC uses images acquired by a spacecraft, along with information about spacecraft location and camera pointing, to create localized digital terrain maps (“maplets”) that are then combined to create a global shape model.


    I am also involved with shape modeling efforts for NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.

    Saturnian moons

    Saturn has 62 known moons. Most of these are relatively small (by solar system standards) and irregularly shaped. In collaboration with others at APL and the Planetary Science Institute, I am developing SPC shape models of about a dozen of the lumpiest moons, including Helene, which pictured at right. Those models will allow us to investigate the geologic processes responsible for modifying the surfaces of these moons.


    Presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.


    Humanity has dispatched spacecraft to a handful of comets, including 9P/Tempel-1 (pictured at left). Comets are fossilized leftovers from the earliest days of solar system history. A comet's surface changes each time the comet passes the Sun. I am part of the APL team that is developing SPC shape models that will help us understand the processes that control the evolution of cometary surfaces.


    Presented the AAS Division of Planetary Sciences meeting.

  • Spacecraft data visualization with the Small Body Mapping Tool (SBMT)

    Spacecraft missions have returned terabytes of data. However, these data can be difficult to access and analyze. Irregularly shaped bodies, such as Eros, pose additional challenges because two-dimensional map projections severely distort spatial relationships. The Small Body Mapping Tool (SBMT) addresses these issues. I have been part of the SBMT development team since 2017.

  • Educational development

    Workshops facilitated

    In 2015 Stephanie Bouchey and I re-envisioned and implemented a practicum for TAs in the Brown University Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences. The practicum combined "real world" experiences and mentoring as new TAs practiced leading discussions, evaluated real student work, and interacted with experienced TAs and faculty. I have since facilitated eight workshops.

    Teaching certificates

    I have completed or am currently completing three of the Sheridan Center's year-long teaching certificates, including Reflective Teaching, the Professional Development Seminar, and the Teaching Consultant program. I served as a departmental graduate student liaison to the Center and on the Center's Graduate Student Advisory board.

    Instructional technology

    In 2016 I participated in Brown University's Institute for Teaching and Technology and the Facilitating Learning Online course offered by the Brown University School of Professional Studies. Each of my courses takes advantage of instructional technologies in one or more ways.

  • Terik's Outreach

    I share the latest in space exploration with the public and help K-12 students achieve science success.

    ASPIRE High School Mentoring Program

    Since 2017, I have been a research advisor for high school students conducting planetary science research at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. One student helped analyze impact experiments using 3D scanning technology and will be presenting work at the 2018 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

    Ask an Expert

    I help K-12 students, parents, and teachers with their science fair projects via the online "Ask an Expert" mentoring forums. The "Ask an Expert" program is run by Science Buddies, a non-profit science education organization that reaches more than 17 million unique visitors annually.

    Second Grade Science

    I participated in a science outreach program at the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School to teach hands-on, NGSS-aligned lessons to second grade students. I designed lesson plans and taught one to two times each semester.

    Data Center Open Houses

    The Northeast Regional Planetary Data Center hosts open houses at Brown University. I explained exhibits to visitors, answered questions, and shared the latest and greatest in planetary science. Visitors range from pre-K to adult. I have participated in the following open houses: Comet Tales (2013), Exploration of Icy Worlds (2014), From Mars to Pluto (2015).

    Museum Exhibits

    I have contributed sections of planetary science-themed museum exhibits at the Museum of Natural History in Providence, RI and at the Northeast Regional Planetary Data Center. Exhibit titles: "Icy Worlds and the Discoveries of Dawn and New Horizons (2015)" and "From Mars to Pluto: Images from Curiosity, Dawn and New Horizons (2015)".

    Elementary School Workshops

    On behalf of of the Rhode Island Space Grant, I led standards-aligned, hands-on workshops at the Lawn School in Jamestown, RI. Students classes explored the scale of the Solar System.

    Public Library Events

    In 2014, the Johnston Public Library sponsored a summer science program for elementary school students. I crafted and led a hands-on session comparing our Solar System to the planetary systems around other stars.

  • Contact Terik